V&A Waterfront unveils food incubator Makers Landing

Call for young up-and-coming foodpreneurs to apply as tenants

The V&A Waterfront, in partnership with the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, has embarked on the development of Makers Landing, an innovative incubator for the local food industry. The space will be built around a community with food as a passion point and cultural connector, where authentic South African food and its diversity is shared and celebrated.

Although the development of Makers Landing has been in conceptualisation for some years, its opening later this year comes at a time when the local restaurant and hospitality industry is facing one of the toughest economic climates in recent history. The vision for Makers Landing, then, as a purpose-driven space that supports job creation and skills development, while offering a platform that supports SMMEs, is perhaps never more pertinent. 

Housed within the reimagined Cape Town Cruise Terminal, Makers Landing will be an industrial, repurposed space that meets the vision of an inclusive, authentic space of learning, growth and connection. The development is underway and is planned to open at the end of 2020.

This proudly South African food incubator will champion small business development and facilitate skills sharing between credible food experts and budding entrepreneurs.

According to Tinyiko Mageza, Executive Manager: Marketing at the V&A Waterfront, “This will be a place where people can meet, eat, drink, shop and work, as well as a platform where foodpreneurs can innovate, learn and grow their businesses within a local food community. Our table will extend to anyone who has a food story to tell or who simply delights in the South African food journey. We want to celebrate our diverse food heritage and culture, and we want to showcase good food created by real people with real stories to tell.”

Core to this will be a kitchen incubator space, where foodpreneurs can innovate, learn and grow their businesses within a local food community. Developed in partnership with the Jobs Fund, this space will champion small business development and facilitate skills sharing between credible food experts and budding entrepreneurs, while using the best of industry knowledge to drive innovation and foster new business in South Africa’s food ecosystem.

“In providing a platform that can foster and grow businesses, at the V&A Waterfront we are equally mindful of the pressures that come with scaling up a business from concept, especially given the current climate. Our partnership with Jobs Fund has allowed us to secure support for tenants entering the space, in the form of additional funding for infrastructure and fit-out, to tiered rental support structures as well as mentorship and skills development programmes,” Mageza continued.

Makers Landing will also include a kitchen studio and event space, that showcases and celebrates South African food heritage; as well as a Makers’ Space, market stalls and eateries which will give valuable insight into end-to-end food production while providing a variety of delicious and authentically local meals and products.

While chefs from across the city browse the seasonal produce and best cuts of meat each morning, the market will be busy with locals enjoying a quick bite with friends or scooping up the freshest ingredients for their evening dinner. There will be a sincere focus on affordability catering for families, as well as office workers in the surrounding districts, sitting alongside dock workers on their lunch breaks.

Tenants will be curated by a panel made up of representative industry experts, headed up by Hannerie Visser: Founder, Studio H; and Andy Fenner: Owner, Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants. The panel also includes:

  • Emma Hosking and Kim Bloch: Co-Founders, Umthunzi Farming
  • Karen Dudley: Chef and Founder, The Kitchen
  • Vanie Padayachee: Head Chef, Sygnatur
  • Aubrey Ngcungama and Ian Manley: Co-Founders, BLACC
  • Ishay Govendor: Co-Founder, SA POC
  • Keletso Motau: Freelance food stylist
  • Lufefe Nomjana: Founder, The Spinach King
  • Ben Cox: Marketing Director, Neighbourgoods Market
  • Russell Boltman: Co-Founder, Devils Peak

“The idea for Makers Landing was always to democratise the tenanting process. By pulling together a curatorial panel that is mixed race, mixed gender and made up of a variety of respected professionals with differing cultural backgrounds, the idea is that the eventual tenant mix will be truly representative and authentic. It is about excellence, of course but it is also about significance. Every tenant will have a powerful story to tell and they will do it through food,” explains Fenner.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, this is even more important, as we are trying to create a place that is about rebuilding businesses and brands. It’s about fostering and nurturing young talent but it’s also about giving people a second chance. It needs to be a blueprint for an entire industry, as we try and put the pieces back together. The industry we love has been left on its knees and is looking for hope. We believe this project provides that,” he continues.

This team will assess potential tenants on various criteria, including measuring them against the V&A Waterfront’s transformation policies, as well as diversity, sustainability, commerciality and credibility.

Foodpreneurs from all walks of life who are interested in being a tenant at Makers Landing, can apply at https://www.waterfront.co.za/makers-landing-application-form/.

In the spirit of celebrating this ethos and supporting young talent, the V&A Waterfront will also be looking to give up-and-coming creatives the opportunity to work alongside its advertising agency, Old Friends Young Talent, to create a visual identity for this project, giving them the chance to work with one of South Africa’s most iconic destinations and launch their career. This approach falls within the V&A Waterfront’s wider strategy of creating new opportunities for up-and-coming designer and artists across its neighbourhood as part of its marketing value chain. For more information on Makers Landing please visit www.waterfront.co.za


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